11th Hour Preacher Party: Advent 3

According to my calculations, Advent is more than halfway over. How are we feeling? I’m guessing that you might feel a bit like I do, so please, take a deep breath. Repeat. And one more time. Ok. Do that several times today. It will help. What’s happening for you this Third Sunday of Advent? Choir… Read More

Ask the Matriarch: When is friendly too friendly?

This week’s question is about a lot of things — inclusive church and appropriate touching are two of those. What are the real issues here, and what’s a pastor to do? Dear Matriarchs, My question is about creating a culture of respectful touching — and not touching — in a congregation that is very friendly,… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Reparations

What needs to be repaired in the world? What restoration is longed for by the injured and heartbroken? Here is your God, coming with vengeance to demand reparations and to save you. (Isaiah 35:4) What healing is needed in your community? What aches and pains await resolve in your own life? The Mighty One scatters… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: New Beginnings, Joy–and Tears (Ezra 1:1-4; 3:1-4, 10-13)

Welcome to the 3rd Sunday of Advent! Hopefully that is a cause for great JOY to all of you! {and hopefully very little panic that 14 days from today will be Christmas Eve.} This week the Narrative Lectionary leads us to Ezra and a new beginning (Ezra 1:1-4; 3:1-4, 10-13). Last week the people in… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: Praying for the Powers That Be

Last week, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi was asked by a reporter the question “Do you hate the president?” Her response was passionate, knowing that her motivations had been misconstrued: “…as a Catholic, I resent your using the word ‘hate’ in a sentence that addresses me. I don’t hate anyone. I… Read More

11th Hour Preacher Party: the second candle is still not pink

Somehow it is the second Sunday of Advent. In churches everywhere, laypeople will be staring at the wreath wondering which candle they are supposed to light….it’s still not pink yet. Keep waiting for another week and stick to the purple/blue, friends! Whether you are in the RCL pondering John the Baptist or the shoot from… Read More